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Volkswagen Beetle Gas Mileage

What can you say about the Volkswagen New Beetle? While folks either love or hate the VW Beetle ‘s iconic design, the little Bug has always delivered acceptable gas mileage. Although the current model’s gas mileage ratings of 20/28 for the manual and 20/29 for the automatic aren’t remarkable for a sub-compact, previous years have benefited from the availability of Volkswagen’s legendary turbo diesel (TDI) power plant.

2006 marked the last model year that Volkswagen imported a diesel Beetle to the States. If you have your heart set on a fuel efficient diesel VeeDub but don’t have the cash to splash on a Jetta or Passat, a used turbodiesel New Beetle might just be worth a look. While used Beetle TDIs command a premium price over gasoline-powered Beetles, they tend to be the least expensive of all the VW diesels on the resale market and are rated in the mid- to high-forties on the highway. (A “don’t laugh, I get 50 mpg on domestically produced biodiesel” bumpersticker might be a nice touch.)

It remains unclear whether Volkswagen will reintroduce the New Beetle TDI. Sales figures will dictate the decision, no doubt, although a 50+MPG Beetle would be a compelling option for folks who might have otherwise considered the smaller and less fuel-efficient Smart.

The 2008 Volkswagen New Beetle is fitted with a 2.5 liter inline DOHC five cylinder engine that produces 150 horsepower and 170 foot pounds of torque, while running on regular unleaded.



Volkswagen Beetle Gas Mileage – 1979-2010

Year Manufacturer Model Engine Disp. Fuel Trans. City Highway
2010 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 20 28
2010 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 20 29
2009 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 20 29
2009 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 20 28
2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 20 28
2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 20 28
2008 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 20 28
2008 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 20 29
2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 20 28
2008 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 20 28
2007 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 23 32
2007 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 23 31
2007 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 22 30
2007 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 22 30
2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 22 31
2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 37 44
2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (S6) Auto 35 42
2006 Volkswagen New Beetle 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 23 32
2006 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (M5) Manual 22 30
2006 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 5 cylinder 2.5 liter R (S6) Auto 22 30
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (S6) Auto 22 30
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M5) Manual 25 30
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (S6) Auto 22 31
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 38 46
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (S6) Auto 36 42
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 31
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 30
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (S6) Auto 21 31
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (S6) Auto 22 30
2005 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M5) Manual 25 30
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 38 46
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 31
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M6) Manual 23 30
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M5) Manual 24 31
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (L4) Auto 23 29
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (S6) Auto 36 42
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (L4) Auto 24 30
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 30
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M5) Manual 24 31
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (S6) Auto 22 29
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (S6) Auto 21 31
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (L4) Auto 23 29
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 42 49
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (L4) Auto 34 44
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 31
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (S6) Auto 22 29
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 30
2002 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (L4) Auto 34 44
2002 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 31
2002 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (L4) Auto 23 29
2002 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 42 49
2002 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M6) Manual 23 30
2002 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M5) Manual 24 31
2002 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (L4) Auto 23 29
2001 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 42 49
2001 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (L4) Auto 34 44
2001 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (L4) Auto 22 28
2001 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 31
2001 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M5) Manual 25 31
2001 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (L4) Auto 23 29
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 42 49
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (L4) Auto 22 27
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.8 liter P (M5) Manual 25 31
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (L4) Auto 34 45
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 31
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (L4) Auto 22 28
1999 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (L4) Auto 22 28
1999 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 24 31
1999 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (L4) Auto 34 45
1999 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 42 49
1998 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (M5) Manual 23 29
1998 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (L4) Auto 34 44
1998 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 1.9 liter D (M5) Manual 41 48
1998 Volkswagen New Beetle 4 cylinder 2.0 liter R (L4) Auto 22 27
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder liter 7 (M4) Manual 22 34
1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder liter 1 (M4) Manual 20 30
1978 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder liter 7 23 31
1978 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 4 cylinder liter 1 21 30

Note: the EPA tweaked their testing procedure, starting with the 2008 model year, with the end result being that the 2008 MPG estimates are now lower than previous years. As always, YMMV.

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12 comments ↓

#1 Khyrstyne on 02.13.08 at 2:22 pm

It doesnt tell me the milage an 08 bug gets im sorry but I dont like this site! =(

#2 mpg-o-editor on 02.17.08 at 8:17 am

@ Khyrstyne – You might have overlooked the gas mileage ratings for the 2008 Bug (Beetle) … they are at the top of the chart … 20/28 or 20/29, depending on the transmission.

#3 chris on 06.05.08 at 2:51 pm

I was wondering – I have a 1979 Beetle Convertible I’m buying, and it’s fuel injected. I saw on this chart that there are two listings, and that in the fuel type it’s either “7″ or “1″. I didn’t know what that meant? Can you help me? Thanks, Chris

#4 Ed on 07.08.08 at 9:54 am

What is the meaning of the (M5) , (l4) or (s6) symbols under transmission column.
Thx

#5 mpg-o-editor on 07.08.08 at 10:13 am

@Ed – M5 = Manual five-speed, S6 = Select shift six-speed automatic, L4 = four-speed automatic

@ Chris – Not sure on the fuel type for the ’79 Beetles, although I’ll take a stab at it and guess Regular.

#6 lois on 11.14.08 at 11:06 am

vw beetles should have a better gas mileage for the size of the car. someone should looke into that. another thing it should have a better sound system also.

#7 Andrew on 06.29.10 at 2:20 pm

^ The car is ridiculously heavy which is why the mileage is so low. If you were smart, you’d get the tdi, 49 highway 42 city. I get 48-52 with a chip and have 280,000 miles on it

#8 Chase on 09.08.10 at 12:20 am

@Andrew – What’s tdi? Does that mean you have a diesel bug?

#9 Ken on 01.11.11 at 12:04 am

My TDI 1998 beetle gets 46-53 mpg,
46 being a hot day in town with the A/C running all day
The gasoline ones are about the same as any other small car 20-30mpg
Ps I have over 150.000 miles and still perfect performance,
So far nothing I have ever owned can compete

#10 tashina on 02.16.11 at 2:51 pm

I’m thinking about buying a ’99 2.0L non turbo vw beetle automatic but it has 153,000 miles on it, but how man miles can I put on it before it’s dead.

#11 Brooklyn on 04.01.11 at 1:16 pm

I have a standard vw bug. I need HELP!

#12 danwat1234 on 06.19.12 at 1:27 am

Why do you need help Brooklyn?

Yea these gas beetles don’t get the best mileage and the 2012 beetle isn’t very good either. They are using a 2.5L engine and they should have an option for a small 1.4L turbocharged gas version (with economy in mind) with auto start stop and electrical system recuperation.

I think they are thinking about making diesel models for this new Beetle.

But if you are buying a car soley for fuel economy (and a bit of sportiness), get a Prius C. Best economy hands down even vs diesel.

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